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Novice handicap chase axed at Cheltenham Festival | Racing News

The Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase will substitute the Listed Novices’ Handicap Chase on the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The British Horseracing Authority introduced in August of final yr {that a} mares’ chase can be added to the programme on the showpiece assembly at Prestbury Park from 2021, changing an current race which had but to be determined.

Which race needs to be dropped has been the supply of a lot debate nevertheless it was confirmed will probably be the Listed novices’ handicap chase, which was established when a fourth day was added to the Cheltenham Festival in 2005.

The novices’ handicap chase, which was historically run on the opening day of the Festival, will now be staged at Sandown as a part of the Paddy Power Imperial Cup assembly simply days earlier than the Festival.

The new Grade Two Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase, registered because the Liberthine Mares’ Chase, will probably be run on Gold Cup day, with the Grand Annual Chase transferring to the Wednesday and the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle transferring to the opening day.

Cheltenham’s clerk of the course, Simon Claisse, stated: “We’re trying ahead to with the ability to convey the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase into the racing calendar for The Festival 2021. Not solely is that this a fantastic instance of the game working collectively to spice up the mares’ race programme in Britain to profit the business, however we additionally now have an improved mares’ inhabitants offering high quality competitors.

“Deciding which race to replace was not an easy decision and it was important that we took into account all the factors and feedback we received. But when we evaluated the other novice chase opportunities at The Festival, as well as the importance of maintaining the current balance of chases and hurdles over the four days, this was considered the best option.”

Eleven-time champion coach Paul Nicholls has welcomed the introduction of a mares’ chase on the Festival and hopes to saddle Laurina – winner of the Grade Two Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on the Cheltenham Festival when educated by Willie Mullins.

Nicholls stated: “I totally assist the introduction of the Mares’ Chase, and the constructive influence that it’ll have on the racing business.

“There will definitely be loads of good mares in each Britain and Ireland to contest it and I hope to have candidate in Laurina. It seems to be like the apparent race for her, and she or he already has good type at Cheltenham so it’ll undoubtedly be a possible goal for her come March.

“It will no doubt have been a tough decision in choosing which of the races to lose, but in this case at least those horses will have lots of opportunities elsewhere.”

Ruby Walsh, the Festival’s all-time main rider with 59 victories, stated: “The Mares’ Chase will show a fantastic addition to The Festival, particularly when it beds in over a 3 or 4 yr interval.

“Jumps horses hardly ever have a monetary worth once they end racing, however for house owners who’re fortunate sufficient to have mare, they are often value a substantial quantity as broodmares and thus house owners get some return on their funding.

“Therefore the necessity for mares-only races is paramount for the worth of unraced fillies, to encourage house owners to purchase them as racehorses. Having the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase to go together with the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle provides to the attraction of buying a filly.

“Cheltenham are displaying their assist to the breeding business by including this race and in my view displaying a loyalty to the entire horseracing business and never simply the game.”

Paddy Power make the Willie Mullins-trained Salsaretta the 6-1 favorite for the inaugural operating, forward of her steady companion Elfile and Henry de Bromhead’s Arkle heroine Put The Kettle On at 8-1.

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